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Gregg Allman is one of the co-founders of the popular 1970s rock group the Allman Brothers Band.
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They released one of their most commercially successful albums, Eat a Peach, in 1972.
That same year, Allman lost another bandmate, in eerily familiar circumstances. Bassist Berry Oakley died in a motorcycle crash only a short distance from where Duane Allman had lost his life in Macon, Georgia. Still the band pressed on, and reached the top of the charts in 1973 with the album Brothers and Sisters. Around this time,
Betts assumed more of a leadership role within the group, and tensions mounted between him and Allman.
While enjoying great commercial success, Allman was in a downward spiral in his personal life. He became a heroin addict and was arrested on drug charges in 1976. To avoid jail, Allman agreed to testify against Scooter Herring, his road manager. Herring was later sentenced to 75 years in prison. Allman's testimony was seen as a betrayal by his bandmates, who swore that they would never work with him again.
Never say never, as the group has reformed several times over the years. In 1989, the Allman Brothers Band reunited and toured for their 20th anniversary. They have remained a popular live act and have continued to record new material. In 1995, Allman and his bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1973, Allman released his first solo album, Laid Back, which was well-received by critics. Neither fans nor reviewers had any kind words for his effort, however. He recorded an album with Cher called Two the Hard Way (1977). The collection of duets proved to be as big a disaster as their relationship. The couple first wed in July 1975, but Cher sought to dissolve their union after nine days. Allman's drug and alcohol problems caused much of the tension within the relationship. While he soon won her back, Allman split from Cher for good in 1979. The couple had one son together, Elijah Blue.
After the 1976 split from the Allman Brothers Band, Allman released his next solo album, Playin' Up a Storm (1977). He had his biggest solo hit in 1986 with the title track from I'm No Angel. After this record, Allman made a few more albums on his own, none matching the level of success he had experienced with the Allman Brothers Band.
In 2007, Allman was diagnosed with hepatitis C. The condition "was laying dormant for awhile and just kind of crept up on me. I was worn out. I had to sleep 10 or 11 hours a day to two or three [hours]," he explained to Billboard. He had a liver transplant in 2010 and has returned to making music. He released his latest solo album, Low Country Blues, the following year.
Allman and the rest of the Allman Brothers Band were honored with the special Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 2012. That March, he had to drop out of a number of Allman Brothers Band concerts in New York City because of a problem with a bulging disc in his back. Allman remains hopeful that he can return to touring in the future.
Also in 2012, Allman decided to share his struggles and triumphs with others in his memoir, My Cross to Bear. "When I got out of high school, I thought, 'I'll take a year or two off and play the clubs, get this out of my system, and then go to med school,'" he explained in a statement. "More than 40 years later, I figure it's finally time to write about this crazy journey that's taken me around the world and back."
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